EAST VINCENT -Many of the 391 military veterans who reside at the Southeastern Veteran's Center attended a carnival held at the center's complex on Saturday, Sept. 27, and Sunday, Sept. 28.
On Saturday, support groups organized a yearly carnival which included a ring toss, dart throw and plenty of good food. Participating groups included the American Legion, the Prisoner of War Organization (POW), The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and several Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts.
Sunday's event featured music by a DJ and a pig roast.
Resident Bob McNeile was in the service from January 1956 to January 1965. "They hold shindigs like this pretty often," said McNeile.
McNeile said the center has a new "chow hall." He said of the day-to-day food, "If you don't eat well its your own fault."
Staff member Elaine Edwards works on a unit that specializes in treating Alzheimer's patients. She said residents keep busy with music and exercise programs, a working woodshop, BINGO, fishing trips and excursions to sporting events, including Reading Phillies baseball games.
Edward said that as the holidays approach, more activities than usual will be offered. She said that the variety of activities are "something that these residents really look forward to."
Sandy Mattingly runs the center's woodshop. She said that half of the residents enjoy working in the full machine shop making furniture for their rooms or for their families. Some of the surplus items are donated by residents and sold by the center to help support the canteen fund.
Resident Jim Hergan said with a smile that the center is a "wonderful place that keeps us off the streets."
"There's a lot to do here, both on and off grounds," said Hergan.
Woody Fahrewholtz, 79, a World War II veteran, volunteers through the American Legion several times per week at the center. He has given more than 5,000 volunteer hours to the veterans and said that he helps out of "friendship and the companionship."
"I'm fortunate and I wanted to serve the guys who need it," said Fahrewholtz.
Music played by DJ Virginia Holmes included Big Bands, Oldies, and Country Music. Tunes by Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Glen Miller were crowd favorites.
Nurses Sandy Seyler and her "adopted daughter" Debbie DeLuca danced together to the Oldies. "The residents deserve care, respect and to have fun," said Seyler. "Treat them like you would your parents."
"Make them laugh." said DeLuca. "They're our extended family."